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COVID-19 & Heel Pain?

One source of foot pain with new, different, or increased activity could be located at the bottom of the heel.  Due to a combination of rapid increases in activities of walking, jogging, running as well as lack of those activities over winter months and restarting them again, and, even standing barefoot for prolonged periods at home or outside, can create strain on feet and heels. In some occasions, the strain can be most felt at the band of tissue on the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia.

 

Plantar fasciitis is, by definition, inflammation of the plantar fascia.  Pain is typically found where the plantar fascia originates on the calcaneus (the heel bone), but can also be found as it courses across the bottom of the foot where it attaches into the forefoot.  While sometimes a heel spur is seen on x-ray, the primary source of pain is due to the inflamed plantar fascia itself and not necessarily the spur.

 

Plantar fasciitis can occur in wide array of ages, activity levels, and professions. Even professional athletes including Peyton Manning (former NFL quarterback), Albert Pujols (MLB first baseman), Erin McLeod (Canadian soccer player), and Jason Kidd (former NBA point guard) have all suffered from the condition.  Alternatively, even just a few hours of wearing poor shoes or landing hard on your heel can set off a flare of plantar fasciitis.

 

Various items are vital for improvement of the condition including wearing appropriate shoegear, avoidance of barefoot walking especially while in pain, stretching, icing and possibly even the need for inserts.  Other treatment options include steroid injections, physical therapy, laser therapy, and stretching devices. Surgery might even be indicated for chronic plantar fasciitis. 

 

So, while we are all social distancing and also ramping up our outside endeavors, pay attention to the activities that may strain your feet and also to the shoes you are wearing.

 

If you are in pain, contact your podiatrist for an assessment and full treatment plan!  Our office provides both in-person and Telemedicine appointments at this time.  Note, Telemedicine does have some limitations but can be beneficial for several patients during this time. 

 

Don't let COVID-19 and heel pain get you down!

Author
Dr. Neil Younce, DPM